Friday January 31 2014

Shortage of malaria drugs hits Mbarara

Patients line up for services at a health

Patients line up for services at a health centre recently. PHOTO BY Arans Tabaruka 



Mbarara District has been hit by shortage of anti-malarial drugs despite rising cases of malaria patients.
The district health officer, Dr Amooti Kaguna, said most health centres have no drugs yet cases received daily in the district are between 1,000 and 2,000 patients. The district has 56 health centres, including 10 private ones.
“Apart from Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, most of the health centres have no anti-malarial drugs such as Coartem. We have resorted to transferring drugs from some health centres with less patients to those with higher cases,” Dr Kaguna told journalists in Mbarara on Wednesday.
He urged all officers in charge of health units to redistribute drugs as a temporary measure to save lives.

Reason for shortage
He attributed the shortage to insufficient supply in the last quarter that arrived on December 19 last year. He said they have reported to the Ministry of Health for possible emergency supply.
“We receive 100,000 dozes of coartem every after three months but in the last consignment, we did not get sufficient quantities. However, I have reported the matter and hope to get the reply soon from the Ministry of Health,” Dr Kaguna said.

He said the situation requires urgent attention because most of the population can’t afford the drugs in private clinics since the cost of treatment there is expensive.